Is Chandra a period fantasy?
It is a modern day story and not a period-fantasy. The story is about a princess of the last generation. The last generation from the Royal families struggle to adapt to the normal social life. If you visit their homes, you could notice that they are traditional and follow their ancestors' lifestyle even today. But from the other end, for them, leading normal life is highly difficult as they can neither live like us nor have the luxury of leading a life like kings. My story revolves around this aspect and a beautiful love story in the Royal family.
How was the idea of Chandra born?
When I used to meet people from Royal families, a thought on their lifestyle and their struggles struck my mind. It made me to make a research about such families. I also realised that they are just like us at the core. Alike us, they too fall in love when they come across a manly or energetic person who meets all their demands.
Is it about a particular Royal family?
No, it is not about a specific family. When we take into account of all those royal families, there were love marriages just like our Mysore Samsthan. So, Kings from other places have found love when they travel and conquer other Kingdoms. So, my story does not talk about a particular family.
You are into art films; what made you shift gears?
I just made one art film! That does not mean that I am into art films. (Laughs)
Why did you take so long after your Mukha Puta?
Mukha Puta was not just a film, it was my life. It was not just any other movie that was made to make money. The movie was related to life. We have sent the movie to more than 18 countries and it was internationally appreciated. My intention was to reach all HIV homes in all districts. However, the ultimate purpose has not been served. I may have got awards, but it has not given life to those kids. However, I took the break because I wanted to come up with a quality product. Hence, I justify the delay.
Your eye for minute details is visible...
I dreamt of every single scene before the movie hit the floors. As a result, I even took the mantle of designing the costumes and art direction. When it comes to the cast, I had imagined Prem Kumar and that's the same reason I roped him to play the lead role. However, the heroine was to be changed for some reasons and we zeroed in on Shriya Saran.
Shriya Saran And Prem
Knowing that Prem is a big fan of Shriya Saran, how did he react when he came to know that Shriya was part of the cast?
Well, Prem Kumar was not aware of Shriya Saran's inclusion in the film. I purposefully kept it as a secret and did not reveal until the official launch. I told him that it will be a pleasant surprise. He was stunned when he came to know that it was none other than Shriya Saran with whom he would be pairing up.
Tell us about Prem's role in Chandra.
Prem plays the role of a classical music teacher, but he is mainly into Ayurvedic research. He basically stays in the Himalayas.
Would you like to have a say about their chemistry?
I've been receiving a lot of good words from the industry men and audience about their on-screen chemistry. Many have told me that they look charmingly beautiful and it would work big time on-screen.
Their intimate scenes have drawn huge attention...
Frankly speaking, both of them are very committed actors. Be it in sentiment or intimate scene, they have given their 100 percent. More importantly, they have completely immersed themselves into the characters. If you ask me specifically about the intimate scenes, as true professionals, they have tried to live up to their characters.
What made you choose Shriya Saran?
Her external beauty made me approach her. When I say external beauty, it is not just good looks, but her feminine look. Chandra demanded her to learn Kalari fight and with this, people will know that she has the perfect body. Considering that it is a romantic film, we needed an actress who could also speak with her eyes! Her classical dancing ability was an added advantage for the project. Hence, we signed her for the movie.
Shriya In Chandra
Shriya Saran's career is on a down fall. Do you believe that Chandra would give her a new identity?
We believe in positive energy. Every human will go through ups and downs. We can't expect any one to be on top forever. And this has happened to Shriya Saran too. However, Shriya Saran's mother had told me that it would give the actress a big break and we are hopeful on the same. The early signs are visible as a couple of producers have signed her for their projects after looking at the movie stills and trailers.
How was the experience working with Shriya Saran?
It was a great experience for both of us. It is because we never had ego issues. Even though we had differences and fights on various issues, it was all for the film and nothing personal. The underlining point is that she would never mind giving re-takes if I was not satisfied. Personally, she is a good human being and was nice with every individual on the sets.
Is Chandra a female-oriented project?
People think that Chandra is a female-oriented subject, but it is not. The story is mainly based on Prem. Well, the title is the name of both hero and heroine.
Ganesh Venkataraman's Role
What role does Ganesh Venkataraman play?
Ganesh Venkataraman is from a Royal family who lives in America. He has an interesting role in the movie.
Tamil Actor Vivek's Role In Chandra
Tell us about Tamil actor Vivek, who has made his debut in Kannada films with Chandra.
There are very good comedy sequences in the movie and he has done a brilliant job. Vivek has played the role of Shriya's brother. He is an adopted son to Royal family. Well, on the sets, he was very lively just like his on-screen persona. He was one person who used to make me feel happy. When I was upset with things, he used to call his assistants and say, "Va muruga koncha madam ke joke pannita varla..." and make me laugh. Just a look at him would bring smile on my face.